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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Luna Stage kicks off new American Voices Series (and the 2019-2020 season) with Soo Jin Pretty Nail

Luna Stage kicks off their new American Voices Series (and the 2019-2020 season) with Soo Jin Pretty Nail (and more!), written and performed by South Orange resident Susan Hyon (photo) and directed by David Skeist. This darkly comic work is inspired by Hyon’s childhood as the youngest of four unhappy Korean-American children in suburban Pennsylvania. A lively, interactive experience for curious and adventurous theatergoers, Soo Jin… will be the inaugural performance in the newly-renovated Luna2. 

Meet Soo Jin and Susan. Susan is the little engine that could pull herself out of a crappy small-town trainwreck only to speed headlong into another of her own making. And another. And another. And yet somehow she keeps chugging along, accumulating scars and the stories that go with them. Soo-Jin is like that Korean exchange student who introduced everyone to Hello Kitty, Keropi, and cute pencils. Upon hearing of Susan's life as a new mom (finally!), Soo Jin appears, ready for a baby shower. Fresh off the boat (and out of the plastic surgeon’s chair), Soo Jin regales the audience with the virtue of beauty. She prays that Susan will maintain her youthful looks in the face of parenthood.

Soo Jin Pretty Nail (and more!) is a play, a stand-up routine, a confession, and a therapy session that will probably make you feel better about your life, the world, and a good old-fashioned eye-lift. Soo Jin will talk about light things that will make you feel heavy, and Susan will talk about heavy things that make you feel light.

Performer Susan Hyon and director David Skeist met in the Acting MFA program at Columbia University in 2003. In the years since, Susan has been a performer and resident artist with Target Margin and The Atlantic Theater Co. among others, while David has developed work with Richard Foreman, Elizabeth Swados, and his own company Caborca, Together, they have traveled to Italy, Germany, Baltimore, and California, performing Chekhov, Shakespeare, commedia dell’arte, and more.

Director Skeist says “Soo Jin Pretty Nail (and more!) is the opposite of a pre-packaged autobiographical monologue. It is a real encounter with a person, whose idiosyncratic behavior and way of thinking has led her to startling insights, which she bravely shares. (Soo Jin) is a fascinating and enlightening person to hang out with as we all try to make sense of our current world.”

About the Artists
Susan Hyon performed as a pregnant person in Bump by Chiara Atik (dir. Claudia Weill) at Ensemble Studio Theater. Before that, she appeared in Molly Beach Murphy’s Cowboy Bob at Ars Nova (dir. Annie Tippe). Susan went solo with Soo Jin Pretty Nail at Dixon Place, The Fishtank (Kansas City) and Baltimore Theatre Project. Other: You for Me for You by Mia Chung (Portland Playhouse), The (*) Inn and Uncle Vanya (Target Margin/HERE), I Came to Look for You on Tuesday (La MaMa), Happy Hour by Ethan Coen (Atlantic Theater Company), Crane Story by Jen Silverman  (Playwrights Realm), Romeo & Juliet (NYSF/The Public), Henry VI (Shakespeare & Co.), Opus (Florida Studio Theatre), Smoke and Mirrors (The Flea), Scapin and Tartuffe (CSC Young Co) Toshtuk and Janyl (Yara Arts). Co-founder, Cloud of Fools Theater Company. BA Economics, Smith College. Fulbright Fellowship ETA in South Korea. MFA Acting Columbia University (Prizes: Presidential Scholarship, Recipient of The Bob Hope Fellowship). Susan is dedicated to helping others while also staying on "the path." She is a licensed foster parent and loves all children. This show is partially dedicated to NWT.

David Skeist is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist based in Brooklyn. As an actor, he has appeared notably in Richard Foreman’s Old-Fashioned Prostitutes (Public Theater), David Gordon’s Beginning of the End of the… (Joyce Soho) and Shlemiel the First (Skirball Center/TFANA), Elizabeth Swados’s Political Subversities (Joe’s Pub), and multiple collaborations with Niky Wolcz, Dangerous Ground Productions, and Stolen Chair. He is the Producing Director of Caborca, a bilingual experimental theatre company under the direction of Javier Antonio González, and has appeared in many of the company’s productions including Distant Star (Abrons Arts Center), Octopus’s Garden (Target Margin), Hamlet (Jersey City Theater Center), Zoetrope, and Open up, Hadrian. He has appeared in the feature films The Entitlement and Memorial Day and on TV in Law and Order: SVU among others. David’s musical compositions have been heard in productions by Wolcz, Swados, Kristin Linklater, James Rutherford, Jon Froehlich, and most recently in Laurent Pichaud’s site specific dance work en jumelle in Uzès, France. His choral setting of Timothy Donnelly’s poem Hymn to Life has been in development since 2015. He spent several years working as an assistant to André Gregory on his production and film of Ibsen’s The Master Builder. David holds an MFA in Acting from Columbia University School of the Arts.

American Voices Series
The 2019-2020 Season marks the inauguration of the American Voices series, featuring original work by contemporary American solo theatre artists. The newly-renovated 60-seat Luna2 will showcase these intimate, entertaining, and timely performances. 

Tickets
Single tickets are now on sale, at LunaStage.org
General Admission tickets are $20 
BOGOFAM5 $5 student ticket with each adult ticket for Monday Performances
Suggested for mature students, ages 16 and older

Season Passes are also available, and allow patrons to purchase a package now and select performance dates later. The Full Season Pass offers all 6 shows at 15% off for $155. Three other package options are available, and all of the details can be found at LunaStage.org/SeasonPass.

Running Time: 75 minutes with no intermission

About Luna Stage
Luna Stage develops and produces vibrant plays about local and global experiences. We bring communities together for artistic events that spark conversations and create understanding and change. Firmly rooted in New Jersey's Valley Arts District—a crossroads of cultures—we celebrate the diverse voices that surround us.

Luna is committed to eliminating barriers to participation and nurturing the next generation of audiences and artists. In addition to its artistic season, the company offers classes for children and adults, and developmental programs for early-career artists.

Luna Stage has contributed to the development of over 100 new works for the stage, earning a reputation for artistic excellence. Luna’s unique approach to producing, as well as the work itself, fosters an environment of inclusivity, understanding, and infinite possibility.

Soo Jin Pretty Nail (and more!) Written and Performed by Susan Hyon
Directed by David Skeist
At Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ | 973 395 5551
Opens: Saturday, September 21 | Closes: Monday, October 7
Performance Schedule: Saturday at 8:00 pm, Sunday at 3:00pm, Monday at 7:00 pm

Running Time: 75 minutes, no intermission   Suggested for mature students, ages 16 and older. 

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